Sakai E Learning Update Sep09


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Sakai & Vula @ UCT

Presentation to eLearning Update held at CPUT, Cape Town, 4 September 2009

Stephen Marquard,,


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Sakai E Learning Update Sep09

  1. 1. Sakaie-LearningUpdate @ CPUTSeptember 2009<br />Stephen Marquard<br />Centre for Educational Technology<br />University of Cape Town<br /><br />
  2. 2. Overview<br />The product category and the industry<br />About Sakai<br />Vula: UCT’s Sakai implementation<br />Where is Sakai going ?<br />
  3. 3. The LMS is dead<br />R.I.P.<br />
  4. 4. Well, not quite.<br /> But reports of its death are only slightly exaggerated.<br />
  5. 5.
  6. 6. What is Sakai?<br />The Sakai Project is:<br />Community: Educational institutions, commercial affiliates and other partners (112 members, more adopters)<br />Code: open source, extensible, service-oriented, scaleable, diverse, 1.2m lines, 52 developers (<br />Foundation: Board and small staff which carries out co-ordination and community-building activities<br />
  7. 7. Where is Sakai?<br />
  8. 8. Open Source in higher education<br />Diversity is good<br />Community is good<br />Community spawns community:<br />Fluid (rich accessible user interfaces)<br />Kuali (finance & admin systems and workflow)<br />OpenCast (webcasting)<br />
  9. 9. Why did UCT choose Sakai?<br />2004: <br />WebCT: low uptake, mixed opinions<br />home-grown system: not sustainable<br />Sakai decision was about open source vs proprietary:<br />Allows us to deliver new tools and services<br />We benefit from development by other institutions<br />We can customize and extend the environment for UCT requirements<br />Strategic value of being part of an international open source consortium<br />Community with significant experience in educational technology<br />Founded by MIT, Stanford, Indiana, Michigan, now 100+ consortium members (significant number in the global top 200 universities)<br />Good integration with other enterprise systems (less administrative overhead, fewer support issues)<br />Sound technical architecture (e.g. high availability through clustering, web services, open framework, APIs)<br />
  10. 10. Sakai at UCT<br />Vula was launched at UCT in Feb 2006 (2-year transition from legacy environments)<br />Use is voluntary (encouraged but not required by UCT’s Educational Technology Policy)<br />Vula is mostly used in support of campus-based face-to-face courses (relatively few distance or block-release courses)<br />
  11. 11. Part of an eLearning ecosystem<br />“Open UCT”<br />Webcasting / video streaming incl. lecture captureOpenCast<br />Cloud<br />OER Directory<br />OER content<br />Turnitin<br />Institutional repositoryDSpace/Fedora<br />LAMS<br />Live audio/video conferencingAdobe Connect<br />CBT / Training / HelpVirtual Expert, SCORM<br />Personal Learning Environments<br />IMS LTI-enabled“shareable tools”<br />
  12. 12. Vula Vital Stats<br />Concurrent user sessions<br />91% of UCT students logged in to Vula at least once during 2008 (20,351 / 22,231)<br />Up to 13,000 people log in to Vula every day<br />28,000+ people use Vula<br />
  13. 13. Why do people use Vula?<br />Bread and butter uses (esp. important for large courses)<br />Announcements<br />Course content<br />Tutorial group signup and management<br />Assignments (with Turnitin)<br />Entering student marks (Gradebook)<br />Tests and Quizzes<br />Online discussion, student questions and feedback<br />Course evaluations<br />Student pressure (“other courses use Vula”)<br />Course design requires online components (some courses can no longer be run only F2F)<br />Provide support in learning areas where students struggle<br />Support innovation in teaching and learning model<br />
  14. 14. UCT students and staff love Vula<br />Staff (n=148): 53% very positive, 42% positive, 5% neutral, 0% negative<br />
  15. 15. Student survey highlights (Oct 08): Course use<br /> I would prefer my courses to ...<br /> use Vula extensively: 60%<br /> make moderate use of Vula: 31%<br /> Use of Vula has improved my learning<br /> 80% agree or strongly agree<br /> Most valuable benefit (choose one)<br /> Improved resource sharing: 23%<br /> Improved course administration: 21%<br /> Improved communication: 17%<br /> Improved my learning: 16%<br /> Improved my time management: 11%<br />
  16. 16. Student survey highlights (Oct 08): Other use<br /> Valuable or very valuable for <br />(top 6 in descending order, 51% to 40%):<br />Student activism (e.g. Green Week) <br />Student societies <br />Student governance (e.g. SRC, Faculty Councils) <br />Personal use (e.g. store work, backup files) <br />Academic writing<br />Participating in research projects<br />
  17. 17. Student survey highlights (Oct 08): Using Vula<br />I found it easy to learn how to use Vula<br /> 93% agree or strongly agree (30%, 63%)<br />I can quickly do what I need to do or find what I&apos;m looking for on Vula:<br /> 91% agree or strongly agree (33%, 58%)<br />When you have a problem with Vula, what do you most often do to get help?<br /> 71% ask a friend or another student<br /> 14% Ask a lab administrator or lab assistant<br />My overall experience using Vula has been:<br /> 96% positive or very positive (42%, 54%)<br />
  18. 18.
  19. 19. Exploring innovative uses of learning environments<br />Wikis<br />Simulation games<br />Mashups<br />Project sites<br />Communities<br />Where are we going?<br />
  20. 20. Creating collaborative spaces with Wikis<br />Wikis provide scaffolding for students to share information about themselves and contribute to a shared knowledge base<br />
  21. 21. The “HETWiki” : History of Economic Thought (3rd year course), created by students working in pairs following a template. Students entries were assessed to form part of the course mark.<br />
  22. 22. Simulation games create microworlds for (more) authentic learning experiences<br />Applied International Trade Bargaining<br />3rd year Economics Course in which student teams role-play countries engaged in WTO negotiations<br />Evolved from <br />WebCT (2005 and earlier), to <br />WebCT (course) + Vula (students) (2006), to <br />Vula with multiple sites (and maybe Facebook?) (2007)<br />Inkundla yeHlabathi / World Forum Online<br />International Law simulation<br />
  23. 23. Trade Bargaining students use project sites to co-ordinate bargaining tactics with other countries<br />
  24. 24.
  25. 25. Mashups with Google Maps<br />The Sakai Maps tool creates a mashup between Sakai and Google Maps. In this site, postgraduate History students share the geographic location and other information about primary source documents being studied through the Aluka digital archive.<br />
  26. 26. Vula project sites<br /> 14% of all Vula sites are project sites created by students.<br /> Of those, 49% are created for academic purposes.<br /> Project sites are also used by staff, for example for research collaboration.<br />(Survey of Vula project sites, May 07)<br />
  27. 27. Student project sites<br /> Surveyed active student-created project sites from Feb 06 to May 07 (site title, description, content / tools) to categorise by intention, purpose or activity.<br />
  28. 28. From courses to community<br />The SRC site is visited by over 50% of UCT students<br />
  29. 29. eLearning in a changing environment<br />Critical mass reached (“everything should be on Vula”)<br />More support and training requirements<br />High-stakes usage (tests, final exams)<br />Demand to “fill in the gaps” in features<br />“We can do X on Vula” (e.g. course evaluations)<br />Potential for deriving greater value from network effects (data analytics / early-warning systems)<br />Rapid innovation in and adoption of Internet services (e.g. Facebook, Google Apps) are redefining end-user expectations and changing application usage patterns<br />The above and more available bandwidth will create demand for better integration with Internet services<br />The “product category” of the LMS is aging and in the process of reinvention (aka. “the LMS is dead, long live the … ?”)<br />
  30. 30. What are students using?<br />Institutional services …<br />but also Internet-based services.<br />
  31. 31. Student survey highlights (Oct 08): ICT use<br />
  32. 32. Sakai 3<br />See slides on SlideShare:<br />